Japan’s funniest Mundane Halloween costumes 2021!

This year, pandemic-emergency bar, restaurant and movie theater lock-downs and working from home all came together to create the ideal conditions for an excellent crop of new Mundane Halloween costumes! Here are my favorites, and links to much, much more… ••• These are from @dailyportalz Twitter feed—he took these photos at a Mundane Halloween costumeContinue reading “Japan’s funniest Mundane Halloween costumes 2021!”

Perfect 2020 Halloween costumes from Japan

If you’re desperate to get out after months of quarantining and can’t resist that invite to a good old-fashioned Halloween party, the ace variety store Don Kihote suggests some costumes that will enforce that social distancing with a vengeance! •

The Most Only-In-Japan Halloween Costumes Ever

Tired of being the same old sexy skunk or slightly NSFW goose in a tutu for Halloween? Keep your fellow costume partiers guessing with these only-in-Japan puzzlers! I found these at the always-entertaining Don Kihote megastore in Shibuya. And if you still haven’t hit on your dream costume, you can always check out what theContinue reading “The Most Only-In-Japan Halloween Costumes Ever”

Department Of Seasonal Pet Humiliation: This Year’s Santa Cat Costume

Sporting all the premium quality you’d expect from a ¥400 vending machine, this Santa Claws capelet just might be the perfect gift for someone who dreams of #catsofinstagram glory (and is willing to risk the kind of revenge that will certainly be extracted after uploading Growler’s humiliation for all the world to see). •

Jolly Despot Costumes I Would Regret

Recently I discovered this primo autocrat disguise, so you can give fellow revelers a choice: laugh at your jokes…or quake in fear as missiles are pointed in your general direction. Saw these at Don Kihote store in Shibuya. •

Cherry Blossom Party Costumes I Would Regret

The cherry trees are readying their onslaught, and it’s almost time for the annual beer-fuelled frolicking to commence. What better way to say, “I am a wild and crazy guy” than to don one of these festive pinker-than-thou costumes? •

For All Your Crossdressing Costume Needs

Now a guy no longer has to waste hours in front of the mirror, practicing lying to the cashier at Tokyu Hands that he’s buying that sparkly pink Power Ranger dress for his girlfriend! This product is clearly labeled BOY RANGER (with the helpful subtitle “BOYS” beneath, written in phonetic katakana for the kanji-challenged customer).Continue reading “For All Your Crossdressing Costume Needs”

Costumes I Would Regret Even Thinking Of Wearing

What IS this? A rare species of face-eating nudibranch? A faded map of the 18th hole at Pebble Beach?  No! It’s a fake five o’clock shadow! This is an especially spectacular career-inhibitor if the costume-wearing prankster is a woman! Long, long after you reach what would have been retirement age if you’d ever been ableContinue reading “Costumes I Would Regret Even Thinking Of Wearing”

Costumes I Would Regret, Part Deux

Nothing says Career Killer like a shot of your grinning face leering at the camera from inside a beer mask, two-fisting some brewskies! Tokyu Hands once again comes through with a costume that makes you think, “Snap! I don’t even have to dress up!” but ends up producing dozens of eminently uploadable candids for everyone’s internet-viewingContinue reading “Costumes I Would Regret, Part Deux”

Costumes I Would Regret

I must be doing something right, since I don’t have any Japanese friends who throw parties attended by anyone wearing THIS. Although not quite as permanent as  a tattoo, pictures of oneself wearing this attractive item would certainly circulate endlessly on the interwebs, thwarting one’s job advancement for millennia to come. •

Epic Japanese Cake Show: Part 1

No Japanese apartment comes equipped with an oven. That shocked me, until I stopped to think about it, and realized not a single traditional Japanese dish requires baking. Which doesn’t keep them from being some of the most skilled bakers in the world. Like the fiber artists of the Tokyo International Quilt Festival, the pastryContinue reading “Epic Japanese Cake Show: Part 1”

Japan’s borders are finally opening! When are YOU going?

After two and a half looong years, the Japanese government finally announced that from October 11, 2022, you don’t have to be on a tour or book your tickets through a Japanese travel agent or get a visa, as long as you can prove you are vaccinated and boosted!* If you’ve been itching to goContinue reading “Japan’s borders are finally opening! When are YOU going?”

Speed Tribes come of age, Yanki style

Every year in the city of Kitakyushu, Coming-of-Age Day is celebrated in over-the top style by 20-year-olds kitted out in outlandish versions of Japanese formalwear. The second Monday in January (the holiday on which all Japanese twenty-year-olds become legal adults) is well known by kimono-spotters all over Japan as the best day all year toContinue reading “Speed Tribes come of age, Yanki style”

Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue: It’s that Santa time of year

Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue changes into the jolly old elf for the month of December, but sometimes his costumers get a bit…creative. When they started in the year 2000, the first few years were pretty tame… Then someone gave him a pet reindeer Which ushered in a period of hog-wild experimentation… that provoked some sortContinue reading “Tokyo’s best-dressed nude statue: It’s that Santa time of year”

Live Your Best Miniature Life for a Year in Tokyo’s Small Worlds Theme Park

If you’ve ever wished you could shrink yourself and live in one of the amazing model worlds Japan is so famous for…now you can! Small Worlds—a vast, animatronic, model-trains-on-steriods theme park that not only reimagines Tokyo, but the Sailor Moon and Evangelion versions of it—offers a one-year “residence permit” that allows a tiny 3D-scanned modelContinue reading “Live Your Best Miniature Life for a Year in Tokyo’s Small Worlds Theme Park”

Kimono Princess For A Day!

Ever since I discovered that one of the most inspiring kimono stylists I know offers private tour and photo sessions, I’ve been dying to swan around Tokyo in a gorgeous ensemble, styled down to the last deco bracelet by modern kimono maven Anji Salz. (If you don’t already follow @salztokyo on Instagram, check these photosContinue reading “Kimono Princess For A Day!”

Fresh Acts Of Santa Blasphemy

Once again, Japanese costume purveyors are outdoing themselves with even more WTF ways to impersonate Saint Nick, which (I think you’ll have to agree) is a pretty heroic effort if you dispense with the red suit, the beard, and even the tiniest nod to jolly… Happy holidays, fellow Japan warriors! And don’t forget that… •

At The Mori Museum: 3D-Printed Sushi & Other Glimpses Of The Future

The Mori Museum’s current exhibit, Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow pushes all my favorite buttons: food, fashion & WTF! It’s a satisfyingly huge show, with installations ranging from utopian plans that harness cutting-edge tech, to darker commentary on how we’ll use technology to evolve in a worldContinue reading “At The Mori Museum: 3D-Printed Sushi & Other Glimpses Of The Future”

This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?

I had to go check to make sure that the best-dressed nude statue in Tokyo made it through the typhoon safely. And he did! Not only that, he already knows what he’s going to be for Halloween. But…huh? As you can see, “witch” costumes in Japan are subject to the same considerable creative interpretation that hasContinue reading “This Year’s Burning October Question: What’s The Peeing Statue Wearing For Halloween?”

Dogs In Kimonos: Shiba Edition!

The only thing in all of Japan that might be cuter than huskies in kimonos is a parade of shiba inus in kimono. Shibas are well-known for making like the Petrified Forest and refusing to budge until even the tiniest hint of humiliating costumery is removed, but the noble beasts I caught making their first shrineContinue reading “Dogs In Kimonos: Shiba Edition!”

Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimonos That’ll Knock Your Socks Off

So you think you can’t rock a kimono because you’re not Japanese? Think again! Tamao Shigemune designs modern versions of traditional Japanese women’s wear with a distinctly Parisian twist, and guess what? You can see them (and try her new summer collection on!) right now in Tokyo, through Sunday March 26th. Tamao Shigemune will be showing her collection at thatContinue reading “Tamao Shigemune: Modern Kimonos That’ll Knock Your Socks Off”

The Peeing Statue Vending Machine

It’s always hard to say goodbye to my favorite costumed peeing boy statue when I leave Tokyo, but now I don’t have to! Thanks to the awesome vending machine I discovered at Yodobashi Camera, I can take him home with me and develop a whole new level of procrastination skillz, crafting little costumes for him… But,Continue reading “The Peeing Statue Vending Machine”

The Best Dressed Nude Statue In All Of Tokyo

Sometimes you’re trudging home and dreading getting on a crowded train, then you find THIS! How great is it that they have a peeing boy statue smack in the middle of the train platform at the otherwise grim Hamamatsucho Station? As if that weren’t cheering enough, for over fifteen years this bronze nude taking a perpetual whizz has been dressedContinue reading “The Best Dressed Nude Statue In All Of Tokyo”

Midnight Fox Parade

Middle school boys in foxface and golden skirt-pants carrying gigantic fox heads through the streets of Tokyo? Can you think of a better way to ring in the new year? Every December 31st at midnight, the good citizens of Oji gather at the local inari shrine to show the furry-tailed messengers of the gods a good time.Continue reading “Midnight Fox Parade”

Level Up, Halloweenies!

Because in Japan, dressing up is no joke! Real cosplayers scoff at Halloween as Amateur Night, but for most people, the Big H is a chance to flaunt their secret zombie in public, and even ordinary citizens put serious effort into Doing It Right. •

Real Life Tokyo Drift

The roar of unmufflered engines! The smell of burning rubber! The gratuitously skimpy costumes of booth babes! Yes, this weekend is the Gran Turismo D1 Professional Drifting Grand Prix, and it does not disappoint! 2017 update: If you happen to be in town and want to see Tokyo Drift, it’s a two day event (Sat & Sun)Continue reading “Real Life Tokyo Drift”

New Type Kimono: Maximum Princess

Your typical Japanese gyaru might be happy to see kimono-wearing go the way of ballroom dancing and tea ceremony, but a growing number of hip young women are adopting the techniques of alt fashion subcultures to breathe new life into old-skool clothes. Kimono hime lovers flaunt convention with a mash-up of vintage patterns, non-trad color combos and Western accessories to spawn a style that is utterly new, yet still utterlyContinue reading “New Type Kimono: Maximum Princess”

Looks Like Santa’s Been Skipping The Gym This Year

As you know, I take an avid and unnatural interest in Japanese holiday costumes, and this year is no exception. There were the usual acts of Santa blasphemy – including Sexy Santa, Emo Santa and Thong Santa – but this year there was a decided trend toward puffiness, even in the outlying Xmas characters. • “A fascinating mixContinue reading “Looks Like Santa’s Been Skipping The Gym This Year”

Sexy Santa Roundup!

Ladies, just because those gold lamé and leopard print Santa costumes are made for men doesn’t mean you can’t play fast and loose with the jolly old elf this Christmas season! The Sexy Santa is a holiday tradition in Japan, and no party would be complete without a few of these beauties in attendance… •

You’re A Sexy WHAT?

What’s a girl to do if she needs a fetching Halloween costume for the company drinkathon, but doesn’t want to show up in the same maid costume all the OLs are wearing or be the only female AKB48 impersonator? Bunnychan Club costume design to the rescue! The only problem is, it’s so hard to decideContinue reading “You’re A Sexy WHAT?”

Monkey Business

I was walking around the Decks shopping complex in Odaiba, and suddenly, MONKEY SHOW. Seriously. Right in the middle of the mall. A monkey show. Of course, trained monkeys have been entertaining people for a long time in Japan – the tradition dates back to before the samurai era – but usually you have toContinue reading “Monkey Business”

Tokyo Steampunk!

Alice In Wonderland X Jules Verne! Gothic Lolita X Victorian Mourning! Manga X Edwardian Gentleman! In the land where costume is king (and often queen, even if you’re not a woman!), steampunk does not disappoint. The Tokyo Steampunk Society has adopted a time travel motif, which allows anybody who already cosplays to reimagine themselves inContinue reading “Tokyo Steampunk!”

Emo Santa

“Deck the halls with boughs of hemlock, fu-fu-fu-fu-fu, fu, fu, fu, fu…” Do you find red to be just too unbearably cheery? Think “Jingle Bells” ought to be remixed as “For Whom the Bell Tolls”? Well, finally there’s a Santa costume for those who would prefer to be The Un-Jolly Old Elf! Now Goths, death metalContinue reading “Emo Santa”

Sit Down Stand Up

One day last fall, as I was walking through Yoyogi Park on my way to fall off the slackline, I saw this guy standing by a tree in a vaguely medieval-looking costume. In America I’d have hustled by, careful to make ZERO eye contact, sure he was either a member of a rabidly proselytizing religious cultContinue reading “Sit Down Stand Up”

Dogs In Kimonos

You can’t help but throw your head back and laugh in amazement when fifteen dogs parade by, dressed in Japanese formalwear. In honor of Hina Matsuri (the doll festival that happens every year at the beginning of March) the local Husky club turned up in Yoyogi Park yesterday all decked out in kimonos. I’ve seen this clubContinue reading “Dogs In Kimonos”

Party Bodhisattva

Just because you’re a bodhisattva and charged with the un-small task of looking after children and travelers doesn’t mean you never get to kick off your sandals and party. This O-Jizo-sama at Zōjōji temple is ready to blow out the candles on his birthday cake (although he might need help, considering there would be over 1500 ofContinue reading “Party Bodhisattva”

Squid Ink Popcorn

Watching  celebs dressed in puffy animal costumes battle it out on TV can give you a powerful craving for just the right snack, but it’s near-impossible to whip up a plate of squid ink pasta before the commercials are over. With this handy kit, you can satisfy all your snack cravings (including some you didn’tContinue reading “Squid Ink Popcorn”

Little Red Riding Colonel

In Akihabara, apparently even Colonel Sanders is into cosplay. This is a somewhat homemade-crafty-looking attempt to draw attention to KFC’s current apple pie promotion. Must check my other favorite life-sized Colonel in Hiroo to see how widespread this little costume is! He always dons a Santa suit in December at the Hiroo branch, but I’veContinue reading “Little Red Riding Colonel”